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tv   Ronald Reagan Banquet  CSPAN  February 10, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm EST

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the gentleman. mr. speaker, i just say really it's not productive to engage in politics and division. we ought to be about multiplication here. we ought to be about growing the economy. we ought not be talking in the way that the gentleman suggests that somehow we republicans prefer one group of people over another. that's not true. we are here fighting for hardworking taxpayers. i just said, mr. speaker, to the gentleman, that we as republicans in this house do not support taxes going up on anybody. we believe that washington spends too much money. we don't believe you ought to tax anybody, especially the job creators, the small business men and women who we are relying on to create jobs and get this economy back to where it needs to be in a growth mode. the gentleman knows very well my position and it is the position of our conference we do not want to see taxes going up on hardworking taxpayers. i said before, i'll say it
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again, we hope that the conferees can produce something for us to vote on, but we are not in any way, shape, or form advocating for taxes to go up on hardworking people. no. we are for making sure that doesn't happen. so, mr. speaker, i don't know how many times i can say that to underscore our commitment. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his recommitment to that proposition. let me ask the gentleman, therefore, given the fact, am i correct, that you do not believe that tax cuts, the 2001 and 2003 extension of the tax cuts, need to be paid for, is that still your position? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, again the question has to do with the gentleman and his side and the president's insistence that somehow the math requires us to raise taxes on small business men and women.
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we don't believe that. we don't believe that we ought to let tax rates go up and create a tax hike on the small businesspeople of this country. because, number one that exacerbates the challenge that we are already dealing with in trying to get this economy growing, and number two, it will put more money into the hands of washington to begin to start spending that money without paying down the debt. 7 the gentleman knows very well -- the gentleman knows very well our commitment to make sure we get our fiscal house in order. he knows very well we believe we got to fix the problem and not go in and ask the small business men and women to pay more taxes to dig a hole deeper. we believe you ought to fix the problem, stop taking small business money away from the men and women who make it, and let them continue to put it back into their enterprises and create jobs. that's what we are trying to do. i look forward to the gentleman working with him to make sure we
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accomplish that end. mr. hoyer: i appreciate the gentleman's answer. that doesn't surprise me, but he didn't answer my question. my question was, you amended your rules in this house so that the extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts did not have to be paid for. i'm asking, is that the gentleman's position now? very simple question, yes or no. it is or is not. mr. cantor: if i could, mr. speaker, i'd ask the gentleman does he think, does he think that the payroll tax holiday extension for the year needs to be paid for? mr. hoyer: i don't think it needs to be paid for the reason you pointed out. what you pointed out was you don't want to depress either by increasing the taxes on small business as you points out, we are not for increasing taxes on small business. we are for asking those who have made the best in our society over the last 10 years, make the most, make $1 million or more,
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we do believe, yes, a greater contribution is in order because our country is in a -- has a challenge situation that we need to respond to. having said that, i believe that it ought to be consistent in terms of your application of not paying for tax cuts for it to be also applicable to middle income, hardworking americans who find themselves in a real pinch in this present economy that we would take a similar position. all i'm asking the gentleman is your position on the middle class tax cut, which we are talking about and it is in conference, the same as it is on the bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003? that's all i'm asking. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman. i would ask in response to that does he not agree there is a difference between the nature of the tax relief in the payroll tax than the nature of existing tax rates on the marginal level
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as well as cap gains? and along those lines, would he not then be advocating a position that would say it's ok to raise the social security trust fund if you're not going to pay for the extension of payroll tax holiday? mr. hoyer: the gentleman goes off in about seven directions on that question in my view. what i believe is that it ought to be a consistent policy as it relates to keeping taxes down on hardworking americans that we apply to the wealthiest in america. now, whether they are temporary or permanent, it makes an economic difference to the people in question. and hardworking americans, 160 million of them, are hoping their taxes will not go up on march 1. the only way they are going to not go up on march 1 is if we pass, as we had a great struggle doing in december, if we pass a conference report that will be reported out of the conference
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committee, headed up by mr. camp, which in fact makes sure that those taxes don't increase. you say you don't want them to increase. i say we don't want them to increase. we seem to have an agreement on that rhetoricically, although i quoted a number of your leaders who say they think it's a bad idea, but having said that, my question to you is, is your position consistent with both the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and these tax cuts? that's all i'm asking. mr. cantor: i respond to the gentleman i was not in seven different directions. it's very simple. i asked the gentleman are you ok with raiding the social security trust fund? because your response to my question indicated to me that it's fine for you and your side to say, let's just raid the social security trust fund, extend the payroll tax holiday, without any pay-fors. is that ok? mr. hoyer: your president you
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supported when he wanted to raid the social security trust fund said there was no trust fund. i believe there is a trust fund and i believe we have a moral responsibility to be sure that trust fund is kept whole. as you well know we will keep it whole. we will sign the proper i.o.u.'s so that trust fund is intact. there will be no reduction in that social security tax, and the gentleman knows it. the gentleman knows that that trust fund will be as secure tomorrow as it is today and that, i presume, both of us have a commitment to that end. yes, we will have to make whole the trust fund money that does not come in on the tax cut just as we had to make money for the war, for the prescription drug bill, and the bush tax cuts whole by borrowing from somebody , usually china, and other nations around the world. . we went from a surplus to a $10 trillion-plus deficit. why? because we did things and didn't pay for them. so if the gentleman is asking me
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do i believe the social security trust fund ought to be kept whole, the answer is yes. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, with all due respect, i'd say to the gentleman, he has answered the same question in two different ways. and he's also gone not in seven different directions but nine or 10 when he starts talking about the former president, george bush. george bush has nothing to do with this debate. has nothing to do with the issue before us. what i'm asking, mr. speaker, is, number one, does he not agree that if we paid for the extension of the payroll tax holiday, we are making sure that we attempt to address the raid on the social security trust fund? and is that not different than talking about marginal rates on small business men and women? is that not different than talking about keeping the capital gains rates the same on
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investors and entrepreneurs in america, we need to put investment capital back into the economy, the private economy. and so my point was not seven different directions, my point is just that. and, again, i would say, mr. speaker, to the gentleman, it bothers me to hear that the gentleman just wants to rely on an i.o.u. the public is tired of saying, yes, we'll owe it -- we'll owe it, we'll pay it later. what we're saying is, let's make sure we don't dig the hole any deeper, let's make sure we don't raid the social security trust fund. there's why we are saying, let's pay for it. but again, to the gentleman's point about trying to expedite things so we can have a result out of the conference committee, there's just been no activity. no activity on the part of the senate. they're not serious. not serious in wanting to address the issue. at least they've not been thus far. and we're running out of time. so again i guess the gentleman's solution is, go ahead and raid the social security trust fund
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and let's ex tend the payroll tax holiday -- extend the payroll tax holiday and if that's the gentleman's position then we know the position, i would imagine, of the minority on this issue. mr. hoyer: will the gentleman has talked a lot but heapt answered my question and the -- hasn't answered my question and the question was a simple one. do you believe the same principle applies to the 2001-2003 tax cuts as applied to the middle income working people's tax consult that we're talking about? i would tell you this, my friend, if we were talking about the taxes that you're talking about, they would go through like greased lightning and there would be no question. but oh, of course we've got it continue those tax cuts. but when it comes to average working americans and the only way we can get them a tax cut, this is the first time we've really talked about real tax cuts for middle income working americans. it has got a log jam that it has hit and it hit in december and we came that close to not having that and we're about to come that close again.
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and i'm just telling the gentleman that if he applies the same principle, we could get this done. now, i'm for paying for frankly the middle income tax cut. i'm for paying for it as the gentleman well knows by a surtax on those who have done the best. not because i want to penalize them but because all of us in this room, maybe not all of us, but most of in -- us in this room have done pretty well. there are some people in this country who haven't done pretty well. and as clint eastwood walked down that road we saw during the super bowl, he said, halftime, we can do better. and i'll tell you what they said in the locker room. every one of us according to bill can get it done, needs to get it done. that's what i'm saying to my friend. i think the position you would be taking would be radically different and that that conference committee would have had a report out on this floor if we were talking about tax
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cuts for millionaires that would have passed like that. absolutely. that's my position, i believe it and very frankly i think the american people believes it. i will yield to my friend if he wants to comment on that. then we can leave this subject and go to the infrastructure bill which i know you like to talk about as well. mr. cantor: yes, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman. i just, just wrap it up saying, i don't think that there was anybody, any working american that did not benefit from the 2001, 2003 tax relief. so, again, the gentleman's attempt to divide this country, saying that some benefit from this and others benefit from that, that's not the way i think most americans look at it. we're all in this together. ok? and so, again, we're trying to make sure taxes don't go up on anybody. we're trying to do it responsibly. and the gentleman does and acknowledges that the payroll tax holiday involves a tax that
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is dedicated to the viability of the social security trust fund and the gentleman knows that if we pass that bill because of his insistence and the insistence of the leader on the democratic side of the aisle in the senate, the majority leader in the senate, that we have to go ahead and just do it unpaid for, then we have crealted more of a problem -- created more of a problem and raided the social scuste -- social security trust fund. if that's the choice, if the gentleman's saying that his side is not going to support an extension of the payroll tax holiday unless it's unpaid for, then i guess we know where we stand and the american people know where we stand. because they'll force a raid on the social security trust fund. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comment. the gentleman has a habit with frankly -- which frankly disturbs me, i will tell my friend. i didn't say that at all. as a matter of fact, my last comment was, i think it ought to be paid for. now, let me explain what that means. i think it ought to be paid for.
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i have been consistent on that position and frankly i was consistent on that position on all the bills we passed in this house, including your tax bills of 2001 and 2003. i thought they ought to be paid for. you thought they ought not to be paid for. the gentleman talks about looking at the past. they didn't work out so well. they were supposed to grow our economy, they were supposed to explode jobs. we lost jobs in the private sector. the only reason we had a plus-one-million over eight years was because we grew in the public sector. we lost jobs in the private sector on that economic program. it didn't work in my opinion. paid for or not paid for it did not work. but it did put a hole in the deficit. i think it ought to be paid for. what i think it ought not to be paid for with is taking out of the hyde of average working -- hide of average working people in this country which is the way you want to pay for it. i don't think that's good policy because i think that will further depress the economy and
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take dollars out of the hands of hardworking people. yes, i think it ought to be paid for. and paying for things is tough. and we didn't pay for things in the last decade. and that's why we dug this deep, deep hole we're in. now, if we want to go on to the infrastructure bill i'd like to do that. unless the gentleman wants to make additional comment. on the infrastructure bill, you indicate that it may come to the floor. you can tell me under what kind of a rule that will come to the floor? will it be an open rule, as has been projected? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i'd say to the gentleman, the rules committee has announced that there is an amendment deadline for members to get their amendments in by monday morning. and it will then proceed in the normal process to vote on a rule to govern the debate on the american energy infrastructure jobs act. mr. hoyer: it's my understanding, mr. leader this
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bill is over 1,000 pages long. it was marked up just shortly after it was introduced and finalized. is the gentleman concerned by the length of that bill and the short time that members have to review it? and the very short time that the public will essentially have almost no opportunity to review it? is the gentleman concerned about that? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, maybe the gentleman's confusing this majority with the one he was a leader in. because we have now seen almost all the committees, transportation and infrastructure, resources, ways and means, govern reform, energy and commerce, all -- government reform, energy and commerce, all of them marked up and considered amendments from both sides. and h.r. 7 in its entirety was posted at approximately noon yesterday, the 8th, noon yesterday was online for everyone to see. the vote is scheduled for next friday, february 17. again, given the process of all
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the committees and all the markups and the willingness to entertain amendments from both sides and now posting yesterday, wednesday, when the vote is next friday, i think that we are providing and living up to the commitment we've made that we're going to have a much more open process. that the public is going to be able to enjoy its right to know what we're doing and members and their staffs as well. can do what they need to do to prepare for their amendments and their votes on this bill. and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. what i was confusing was your rhetoric now and your rhetoric as it related to a bill that was longer in pages but had 10 times greater period of time for debate, discussion, considered by extraordinarily large number of committees in both the senate and the house, town meetings all over this country about that bill. what i'm confuse something your rhetoric as it related to the affordable care act and your
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rhetoric related to the transportation bill which has had probably 1/20 or 1/30 of the time to consider certainly by the public. i don't know that anybody has had a town meeting or had the opportunity for the public to have input on this bill as it is now written. and very frankly i may be confusing it with the bill that we just adopted on suspension of the calendar without any opportunity to amend it, which was filed less than 24 hours ago. mr. cantor: right. mr. speaker, the gentleman knows where i'm going on that last comment because i'll just point out the fact when he was the majority leader, that bill, the stock act, had sat dormant and he refused as majority leader to pick up the bill and bring it to the floor of the house, again, by giving the vote that we just saw, i think that there was probably a legitimate working and to improve and strengthen the bill which indicated and was reflected in the vote that he -- that we just had on the stock
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act. as for the gentleman's suggestion that somehow i'm confusing this bill with others and his reference to the affordable care act, the public doesn't like that bill. right? and it doesn't. and i'm thinking that perhaps the gentleman is confusing this bill with one that came up during his term as majority leader when the cap and trade bill was filed at 2:00 a.m. and then we were asked to vote on it at 10:00 the next morning. again, i think, mr. speaker, the gentleman knows we have provided for over a week's time and then some for members to take a look at the full version and to give members of time -- members time to prepare their amendments until next monday, so we can have a full and robust debate on this bill. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. the gentleman says full time but very frankly there wasn't participation by everybody in this full discussion and in fact
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as i said last week and i will reiterate this week, because he hasn't changed his position, ray lahood, republican, former chief of staff to the republican leader in this house, former chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on the republican side of the aisle, says this is the most partisan transportation bill i've ever seen. and it's almost the most antisafety bill i've ever seen. it hollows out our number one priority which is safety and frankly it hollows out the guts of the transportation efforts that we've been about for the last three years. he concludes with, it's the worst transportation bill i've ever seen during 35 years of public service. ray lahood, republican, secretary of transportation. now, whatever time the gentleman has spent that he thinks exposing this bill, he didn't expose it on our side because -- and he apparently didn't expose it in a way that reached bipartisan agreement from the secretary of transportation, i will tell you i lament the fact, mr. leader, when i was in a
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majority leader, and the gentleman likes to refer to, that transportation bill passed with a overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. every transportation bill that i've seen in the 30 years i've been in the congress of the united states has passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. and it came out of committee almost unanimously. this bill, as the gentleman knows, came out on a purely partisan vote. except -- actually it was a bipartisan opposition because mr. petri, long time member of the transportation committee, and of course mr. latourette's not too happy with the bill either, as the gentleman knows, who is a senior member on your side, one of your leaders on your side of the aisle, so i will tell my friend that unfortunately we have a situation where you're going to bring a bill up next week, which clearly is a partisan bill, which does not enjoy bipartisan support, contrary to every transportation bill that i think we've passed in this house in
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the 30 years i've been here. i yield to my friend. . mr. can'ter: i don't understand what -- mr. cantor: i don't understand what the gentleman is seeing here. "the washington post" has done an extensive coverage and story on the transportation bill and the 5,000-plus earmarks that were involved in the bill that he's bragging about. we are in a new day here which we are shining the light of day, we are saying no more earmarks. we are not doing things the way we used to do them. that's exactly what the people want. they want a reformed congress that belongs to them, that works for them and not the other way around. so, mr. speaker, i would say to the gentleman, i look forward to his amendments that he smits for monday to be considered by the rules committee so that we can proceed as we have on so many bills in an open debate on the floor of this house, unlike we ever experienced in majority's
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past -- majorities past. let's try and agree, we have to reform this system. we are standing up for reform whether it be no more earmarks, whether it be continued positing of positions online so members have enough time to review with open announcement of how long the amendment deadline is, with continued pattern of allowing for debate on amendments on both sides on the floor. i mean, mr. speaker, we are trying to change this institution so it can actually live up to what the people are expecting, and for us to be able to abide by their trust. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that comment. i the american people don't think we are accomplishing that objective you want to accomplish by virtue of their response to the polls about what they think of the job that we have done
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over the last year. let me say in addition to that the bills i was referring to, my friend, yes, while i was majority leader, we had the house and senate, i said 30 years, the 12 years that your party had the chairmanship, transportation committee, we passed bills on a bipartisan basis and with respect to transparency, as the gentleman knows on earmarks, you quadrupled the number of earmarks under your leadership. not your personal leadership but under republican control of the house of representatives, quadrupled the number of earmarks. when we came in what we did was said they all had to be online. members had to put them on their website. and committees had to identify where those came from. personally we made them very transparent. you have eliminated them temporarily. we'll see whether that holds. but we will move on to the question of whether or not when you say we are going to have
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open amendments, whether or not the amendments that are germane will be made in order so that in fact we can impact on the bill. the gentleman says he's interested in seeing my amendments. i think most of the amendments will come from our committee members. they are the ones that are struggling to find out exactly what this bill does and we don't believe it's paid for, by the way, as i think the gentleman probably has seen the c.b.o. report. but let me ask you this. do you believe this bill is a jobs bill? mr. cantor: i believe that what is needed, mr. speaker, is some certainty so that the agencies at the state level can operate with their plans going forward for infrastructure needs. i believe that the private sector that is heavily involved with the infrastructure industry can know how to plan so they can
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make investments necessary, so that we can see the maintenance, repair, and expansion of our infrastructure system in this country. we are about trying to say let's grow. let's grow, let's try and work together so we can grow this economy. the economy is dependent upon a infrastructure future that is certain. and the gentleman also knows that we have in the bill a paid for that is derived from the expansion of the ability to explore in the deep ocean off our coasts. because it's an energy resource that we should be utilizing. and that is as well holds the potential for thousands ever new jobs. so, mr. speaker, we are all about job creation. and i hope that the gentleman can join us in what is titled the american energy infrastructure jobs act. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comment. am i to take it, therefore, he disagree was speaker boehner
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when speaker boehner said a few days ago we are not making the claim that spending taxpayer money on transportation projects creates jobs. we don't like that claim. so this would not be a jobs bill from that standpoint, am i correct? mr. cantor: again, the gentleman, if he wants to play gotcha -- mr. hoyer: i want to figure out whether this is a jobs bill. mr. cantor: mr. speaker -- mr. hoyer: i yield. mr. cantor: the gentleman just heard what i said. we can create jobs if we open up the ability from our energy exploration. we can create jobs if we provide some certainty to the industries and the state agencies as well as the federal agencies that are involved in planning and in charting the course for infrastructure maintenance, repair, and expansion in this contry. growth requires infrastructure that is at topnotch. we know we are a far cry from that in this country. so the gentleman understands my point. growth comes from better
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infrastructure. growth comes from expanding the ability to explore our natural resources off our coasts. something that unfortunately most members on his side of the aisle have not been supportive of in terms of charting a more certain and responsible energy future. does the gentleman have any more scheduling questions? mr. hoyer: these are all scheduling questions. these are scheduling questions as to whether or not we are going to have legislation on the floor that can get us from where we are to where we want to be. the gentleman knows that the senate has passed a bipartisan bill out of sneet with senator inhofe, republican, and senator boxer, not exactly ideological sole mates, coming together and -- soulmates, coming together. i'm trying to figure out from you you go from other aspects of the bill that create jobs but -- you say infrastructure is necessary for growth, my
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readling of that -- reading of that is as the president pointed out, investing in infrastructure does in fact grow jobs. to the extent we can pass a bill scheduling a bill that has bipartisan support here and bipartisan support there and the support of the president of the united states is what we ought to be doing. doing it in a partisan fashion undercuts our scheduling of moving that forward. that's my point. i think the gentleman understands that point. but i would hope that as we work on this bill we could do what the senate's done, which they don't do very off, and come together in a bipartisan way as we have historically done in this house on transportation and infrastructure bills. so important for the growth of our country and the creation of jobs and the moving forward as you say, and i believe, as well, we ought to come together and accomplish. >>

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